The saying goes.. ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ – Benazir Bhutto’s murder provided Pakistan Peoples Party which claims to be the most democratic and progressive party to put its house in order. PPP’s main leader after Bhutto, Amin Fahim has done a lot for the party having associated with it for his lifetime was not chosen as the obvious choice for the party leadership.
But.. alas… the legacy rules. Bhutto’s son who is only 19-years and just starting his education in Oxford was made the party chairman…. It is really unbelievable that a progressive party would choose to rule by bloodline rather than by democratic means despite the fact that even Bhutto’s will said that Asif Zardari (her husband) should be made the chairman of PPP. Although it can be understood given Mr Zardari’s reputation (Mr ten percent etc. ) very well precedes him.
It would have been something thinkable if it happened in a Monarchy… not a democratic political party!!! It is just pure hypocrisy.
And what’s more.. to encash the sentiments of the majority of Pakistani people which are obviously in Bhutto’s favour.. Bhutto’s son’s name was changed to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (formerly Bilawal Zardari) which is close to ridiculous in that culture. It is traditional in that society and true for most in the world that lineage / family tree runs through father’s family… but given Zardari’s are associated only with corruption and nothing of any significance in the society, the party leaders and most probably Mr Zardari changed his son’s name to Bhutto Zardari… it will not take long when the suffix Zardari will be completely removed from Bilawal’s name.
PPP as the most progressive party in the country had the choice to move the country from the politics of individuals/families to more of manifestos and vision… its leadership has chosen the former and it will definitely mean the country will continue to be governed by individuals and personalities than by political manifestos, visions etc which does not bade well for stable political structures in Pakistan.
Unfortunately it also reflects the sad thinking in Pakistani political ruling class that the ordinary people are very much gullible and can be swayed by family names and dynasties which mainly is a feudal thinking.
After-word: An interesting piece on dynastic versus democratic politics worth visiting is at http://lcyd.blogspot.com/2008/01/dynasty-isnt-democracy.html